The Language of the Civil War

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 2001 - Foreign Language Study - 377 pages
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America's language changed, along with its history, because of the Civil War. Nowhere is the point more riveting than in "The Language of the Civil War." This is a unique compilation of slang, nicknames, military jargon and terminology, idioms, colloquialisms, and other words are expressions used (and often originating) during the American Civil War. Organized like a standard dictionary, this volume contains approximately 4,000 entries that focus primarily on everyday camp life, military hardware, and military organization. This one-of-a-kind reference work will make it easy for readers to learn the origin and meaning of such Civil War terms as Buttermilk Rangers, jackstraws, Nassau bacon, pumpkin slinger, and stand the gaff. "Language of the Civil War" contains words originating during the American Civil War. Besides explaining terms and phrases no longer in use, the entries also provide the origins of many common expressions or the original meanings of many familiar sayings that have since changed meaning or connotation. Although many of the terms arose from the nature and needs of life in the military camps, others were in common use in civilian society across both the North and the South. Illustrated with 50 photos and drawings, the volume is a unique resource for students, scholars, reference librarians, and Civil War enthusiasts and reenactors.


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Wright, a reporter for Time's London bureau, takes on the daunting task of compiling a dictionary that reflects how language was spoken and written by civilians and soldiers on both sides of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

John D. WRIGHT is a reporter with with Time magazine in its London bureau. He has taught journalism at three universities. He has also written extensively for People magazine. Wright has contributed to numerous reference works, including Collins Dictionary of the English Language, Bloomsbury Thesaurus, and Oxford Guild to British and American Culture.

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